Real Housewives of New Jersey star Dolores Catania’s family recently experienced a health scare. Catania has two kids, 22-year-old Frankie Jr. and 25-year-old Gabrielle. She shares them with her ex-husband and fellow RHONJ star Frank Catania.
In late 2020, Frankie Jr. and Gabrielle Catania began experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, she told Page Six in January. The two kids and Frank Catania then all tested positive for COVID-19. “My daughter said, ‘Everything hurts me,” Dolores Catania told Page Six. “‘My head hurts. The [bedsheets] on my back hurt. My body hurts me,’ and I told her, ‘You got COVID.’ And then my son was coughing, and I’m like, ‘You too?!’”
Dolores Catania did not contract the virus, but she quarantined from December 23 until January 3 just in case. “I was exposed to it,” she told Page Six. “It was in my house, so I had no right to go out and spread it just in case I had it.”
The mother of two decided to take care of her family without testing positive. “I never got it; I couldn’t catch COVID if I tried,” she joked to Page Six. “I took care of everyone who had it in the house.”
Catania’s Family Was Not the Only RHONJ Family to Contract COVID-19
Unfortunately, Catania’s kids and her ex-husband weren’t the only RHONJ stars to test positive for the virus. Catania’s news followed that of her cast member Margaret Josephs sharing that her husband, Joe Benigno, had been hospitalized with COVID-19.
Josephs posted an Instagram video with her Caviar Dreams, Tuna Fish Budget podcast co-host Lexi Barbuto on January 7 when they broke the news. “We’ve been MIA and we’ve had COVID — the entire family,” Josephs began saying in the video.
She continued saying, “We didn’t want to talk about it during Christmas because who wants to talk about COVID during Christmas.” Josephs’ mom and frequent RHONJ guest Marge Sr. contracted COVID-19, but her husband Joe Benigno was the only one who needed to be hospitalized. Josephs shared that while the experience was difficult, the entire family has now tested negative and are feeling, “better now.”
Fans Will Witness the RHONJ Ladies Tackle COVID-19
Season 11 of RHONJ premieres Wednesday, February 17 on Bravo. The season is a long time coming, as the women did not film during their typical spring season due to COVID-19. Bravo temporarily stopped production in March, along with many other Bravo reality shows.
The cast and crew resumed filming in July, per TMZ. Trailers for the upcoming season show the ladies taking on a Jersey summer. The season concluded filming prior to Catania’s family or Josephs’ family contracting the virus.
“It was rough and it also f***ed with your head,” Josephs’ said on her podcast, adding that she fought COVID-19 for 17 days. “I was having crazy thoughts, I was reevaluating my life, having deep discussions. I was like, ‘Do I want to live here? Do I want to stay in New Jersey? What kind of life is this?’ … You don’t want to f**king get this and you don’t want to give this to someone else.”